We’ve been spending quite a bit of time reflecting back on supports and consultation we’ve provided and offered over the years to people and their teams. …a bit of a “memory lane” moment… we’ve experienced and learned so much and are full of hope that the teams we were able to assist carry those moments and sometimes HUGE ah-ha moments with them still to this day. One of our team members was recalling spending time with a gentleman who was then residing in a state run institution many, many moons ago. She was asked to assist this person and his team to “make him talk” by a family member. After several phone calls with the family we arrived at the idea… “he’s already talking, but just in his own way” and instead assist his team for them to really see him and how he’s expressing himself.
We won’t say it was a success in the sense that suddenly the entire team had a shift in thinking. May be one… which, frankly IS a success because previously we were at zero.
The big moment? Our team member was sitting with him in a “day room” and were listening to music on the member’s iPhone (right when these just came out so you can quickly figure out how long ago this may have been!) and were scrolling through watching his reactions. Remember friends… EVERYTHING is communication. All the time. She noticed that on a particular song he would reach out and touch her arm. After a few runs of different songs and bouncing back to “that” song, he would consistently reach out and touch her arm. Ok, this is the song we’re listening to right now. I hear you. There were lyrics in the song, “…maybe in the future, you’re going to come back…” that he would reach over and now gently squeeze my arm. I had told him earlier in our visit that this might my last visit with him. It was the song, “Maybe” by Ingrid Michaelson. You should listen to it. – Jessica Stover